Forget Solar Roadways. Here’s How to Get Limitless, Clean Energy

June 5th, 2014 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

I’m still marveling at the number of people who think moving solar collectors from where they stay clean, generate more energy, and are protected, to locations where they are made dirty, generate less energy, and are destroyed, is a good idea. (See my post about Solar Roadways).

So I started looking at other alternative energy technologies. Such as putting wind turbines on your car to generate energy, like the one produced by this Chinese inventor:

But I wanted more. “Perpetual motion” has gotten such a bad rap, and I wanted to see if any progress has been made on this subject…

Well, I think I found the modern-day expert. I think this guy really understands how scientists and engineers have been fooling us for so many years with their negative thinking.

Such as with their supposed “laws” of thermodynamics which always seem to state what we can’t do…rather than what we can do!

Check out some of these insights, taken from Ken Amis’s treatise, Energy Independence: Perpetual Motion is the Way to Go:

“Establishment scientists have, throughout history, ridiculed and dismissed such independent thinkers without seriously considering the details of their ideas. We should not dismiss all of this effort as futile or misguided. It may be that these inventors were the true visionaries, following the correct path, undaunted by failures, not allowing themselves to be discouraged by naysayers, and not swallowing the big lies perpetrated by mainstream scientists.

And what has mainstream science and engineering given us? It has given us energy-guzzling machines that must be fed with fossil fuels ripped at great cost from the earth, stoking the fires of industry while spewing out unhealthy waste products that foul our air, water and earth. By contrast, all perpetual machine designs ever conceived have these virtues: (1) No fossil fuels are required, indeed no fuel at all is needed. (2) They do not produce noxious and toxic exhaust gasses or solid pollution, for they produce no exhaust.”

Clearly, this guy can see through the veil of deceit and trickery the “experts” have used to stifle progress toward clean, inexhaustible sources of energy. Amis continues:

“Perpetual motion machine inventors shouldn’t be intimidated by the laws of thermodynamics. The thermodynamic laws were invented by engineers and physicists during the industrial revolution to discourage those restless minds seeking alternatives to those incredibly inefficient coal-burning engines. Then physicists tried to add clout to the laws by cloaking them in an incomprehensible mathematical theory called statistical mechanics. Not one in a hundred degree-holding physicists or engineers really understands where these laws come from. Even the great physicist Maxwell had to enlist the aid of a demon to make sense of it all.

Instead of making laws about what can’t be done, scientists should instead invent laws that show us the ways things can be done. The negative character of thermodynamics laws does nothing but stifle and discourage creative and inventive minds from the quest for perpetual motion machines. Scientists nurtured in this climate of negativity have not, and never will, discover the secret of perpetual motion. They haven’t a clue how it might be accomplished.

By going down the wrong path, science has become more and more complicated, so it’s now too difficult for any but a few in the elite scientific priesthood to understand. It’s time to say “enough!” and return to the basics of simple things that any basement or backyard inventor can grasp. We can no longer expect narrow-minded and closed-minded scientists, who waste their time mucking around with higher mathematics, to be able to understand simple things. Having lost any firm connection with reality, they have sold their souls to mathematics.”

Ken Amis is CEO of Entropy Innovations. I hope that he considers crowdfunding of some of his thinking-outside-the-box ideas. There is no reason why we can’t, at a minimum, be producing 1,000 miles/gal carburetors while we are actively working on some of these other areas:

  • Liberating scientific thought from the limitations of the laws of thermodynamics.
  • Production of unlimited non-polluting energy.
  • Practical entropy reversal.
  • Fabrication of materials with negative friction coefficients.
  • Energy extraction from magnetic or gravitational fields.
  • Exploiting loopholes in the uncertainty principle.
  • Conversion of virtual work to real work.

110 Responses to “Forget Solar Roadways. Here’s How to Get Limitless, Clean Energy”

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  1. Jim Thompson says:

    Wow! Something for nothing! What a wonderful concept! The government seems to think rewriting economic laws to conform with desires rather than facts works great so I see no reason it shouldn’t work just as well with the restrictive laws of physics. We have been tyrannized by mathematics for too long. It is time for a new paradigm. Go Ken!

  2. David Gray says:

    How about that bogus law of gravity? It is obviously outmoded and our cost of going to space would be greatly reduced if we just ignored what those so-called astrophysicists want us to believe.

    • Johan says:

      Worse than bogus … racist. Actual quote taken from Mayor Marion Barry of Washington, DC: “The laws in this city are clearly racist. All laws are racist. The law of gravity is racist.”

  3. Fonzarelli says:

    Legend has it that the Tessla Tower, which generates free electricity via the ionosphere, was sabotaged by big oil. One has to wonder how many viable energy alternatives are out there. Oil won’t last forever and we’ve become a civilization that depends on cheap energy for our very existence…

    • Geoff wood says:

      The Wardenclyffe Tower was based upon Tesla’s patent of wireless transmission of power. It was not both a free energy producer and a transmitter. There is written evidence in Tesla’s own hand that he despondently admitted that he could provide a single machine with ‘free’ energy, but not a factory! The Tesla story is a fascination. I remain in total awe of the genius of Tesla, although I am conservative of many peoples claim to unlimited free energy /over unity who quote Tesla’s ‘secret’.

  4. Kelvin Vaughan says:

    How about tall masts at the North and South poles that reach up into space with wind generators at the top that utilize the solar wind. You could also have a lift in the mast so you wouldn’t have to keep landing space craft back on Earth. They could pick up astronauts from the top of the mast.

    You could have a restaurant at the top as well. It would rotate with the world. There you go, perpetual motion.

    • zlop says:

      SF6 lapses 100K/km H2 lapses 0.69K/km
      Air lapses 6.5K/km — tun a heat engine
      between the differences.

      “Modified Feynman ratchet with velocity-dependent fluctuations … Uncompensated decreases in total entropy”

  5. Mike Bromley says:

    “Exploiting loopholes in the uncertainty principle”

    Hell, the IPCC has been doing that for years now.

  6. Curt says:

    The very existence of unicorns disproves the so-called “laws” of thermodynamics…

  7. Fonzarelli says:

    This is one of the big problems that I see with AGW theory. Our entire energy future depends on warmer temps brought on by AGW. If the warmer temps don’t materialize (or are replaced by cooling), then as a society we will forget about AGW and along with it the quest for alternative sources of energy…

    • WizGeek says:

      The ineventable tapering of petroleum will force the quest for alternative sources of energy by the very companies whose profits are impacted by the tapering of petroleum availability.

      • Fonzarelli says:

        The problem with that is that by that time it may be too late… And we’ll have so many more (billions) of people in need of cheap energy.

        • Geoff wood says:

          I think you will find that the energy producers are decades ahead in terms of technology available for public consumption. Test of much higher technology run parallel with exploitation of profit from the ‘old’. Such is economically driven development. Developments relative to security remain under wraps for typically 30years.

          • Fonzarelli says:

            So, Geoff, what do you think we should do? Wait for market forces to kick in or make a concerted effort to get these new technologies?

          • yonason says:


            Yes, by all means, let’s “do something” like wrecking the world’s economy with non-solutions, thereby bankrupting everyone and making what would have been a difficult problem to solve now an impossible one.

            Shear genius!


            Preparing for known hazards is the responsible thing to do, not squandering precious resources to prevent fantasy scenarios.

    • mpcraig says:

      Here is a typical attempt at the physics and an example of the usual discussion following such an attempt:

    • Interesting. Read through some of it. Can’t get my head around it, though. I can see how a sailboat can travel upwind, but not directly downwind faster than the wind.

      • Jason Calley says:

        See if this makes sense… The trick is that the windmill does not drive the wheels. Actually, the wheels drive the windmill. The blades of the mill produce a ball of higher pressure air immediately behind the props. The wind presses against one side of the air-ball, and the other side of the expanding air-ball pushes back against the whirling blades of the mill. That pushes the craft to a speed equal to the wind speed plus the expansion speed of the air-ball. Voila! Downwind faster than the wind…

        • Massimo PORZIO says:

          IMHO they just experience an accumulation of inertial energy.
          In fact looking at the end of the movie the blades where reducing their speed.
          If the frictions are very low, at the beginning of the race the blades start rotating more because the inertial mass of the whole vehicle is higher and keep the vehicle itself at a lower speed. When the vehicle approaches the wind speed the blades accumulated and extra speed because of the inertial mass and for a little they continue to turn giving an extra energy to the vehicle which for a moment returns the accumulated energy.

          Of course I’m just an electronic engineer, this is not my field and maybe I’m wrong.

          Have a nice day.


          • Mark Luhman says:

            I was once shock to find out that the SR71 did not get it speed from the air being pushed out of its engines, instead it got most of it’s speed from the vacuum the engines created in front of it.

          • Geoff wood says:

            Mark, within an atmosphere, the force due to the atmosphere upon an physical object is the result of pressure difference across it. The energy is in the pressure exerted upon the jet engine rotors as a reaction to their actions. The engine does indeed produce a pressure difference across its dimensions. But it is pushed not sucked! In space it is clear that that a rocket ejecting material is not sucked by the vacuum of space, but propelled by the reaction to its ejection of propellant as a positive force.

      • My guess is that sailing device encountered wind that was faster than the reported wind speed. Wind could be slower at the location where its speed was measured, and at the time it was measured. Windspeed could increase as the day goes on, such as from rising surface temperature increasing convection and downdrafts from levels of the atmopsphere where the windspeed is faster. The windspeed measuring instrument may have been in a location where wind encounters more friction than it does where the sailing vehicle went fast. If the wind is gusty, the vehicle may respond to RMS windspeed while the instrument reports average windspeed. (RMS exceeds average for measurement of an unsteady amount of what is being measured.)

        • I looked at the video … The streamers show it moving faster than the wind. However, one thing I wonder about is how the vehicle managed to continue accelerating when its groundspeed matched its airspeed, since at that point the vehicle has no wind to exploit.

          If the rotor blades provided forward thrust when the vehicle’s airspeed was zero, then I think the rotor would apply negative thrust when the airspeed is forward. I see that this can harvest energy from the airspeed, but I am skeptical about harvesting enough to sustain a groundspeed exceeding airspeed.

      • Dr. Strangelove says:


        Sailboat cannot travel faster than wind if the sail is perpendicular to wind direction. It can travel faster than wind if the sail is in oblique angle to wind direction. The reason is so long as the wind is hitting the sail, it generates a force with one component parallel to sailboat’s direction of motion. This force causes acceleration or increase in speed. This can be shown in a vector resolution diagram.

        • Dr. Strangelove says:

          The wind direction must not be parallel to sailboat’s direction of motion in order to travel faster than wind.

        • JohnKl says:

          Hi Dr. Strangelove,

          You claimed:

          “Sailboat cannot travel faster than wind if the sail is perpendicular to wind direction.”

          Unless of course, the current moves the sailboat forward faster and with greater force than the wind and the wind direction and subsequent force provides significantly less, or perhaps little or no obstruction to that movement.

          Have a great day!

  8. Greg McCall says:

    This article makes me smile. For a number of years I worked in an engineering group that was asked to evaluate ideas submitted to my company to generate electricity. It was very interesting and entertaining work. I learned how to write very kind and encouraging letters to the reality-challenged.
    Most ideas submitted lacked any sense of scale, material constraints, R&D funding barriers (time, money), or the willingness of investors to spend money on high risk projects. Many lacked basic scientific understanding.
    When we pointed out obvious problems we sometimes would hear that we are just “big energy” trying to protect our turf. Or some would say that if they told us the full details of their idea we would just steal it (it amazed me that people thought my company would invest millions of dollars in a technology that we had no details of).
    Little did they realize how open we truly were… One idea did get our interest for a while, but our concerns were validated by an actual test. We had no directive to “protect our turf”.
    I’m not aware that we missed a single assessment despite many threats to put us out of business. The first and second laws of thermodynamics still work fine.

  9. Threepwood says:

    If only we had millions of years of solar energy- already captured and stored in convenient energy dense fuels- liquid, solid, whatever you needed, in massive natural reserves all over the planet. The use of which would actually make the Earth greener, making plants grow faster and more drought resistant by recycling the vital nutrients they had consumed from the atmosphere.

    And best of all, could feed and warm the worlds poorest populations, without a penny of subsidy.

    But I’m sure that even with such a perfect energy source, governments would find a way to invent a problem requiring their same old ‘solutions’

    • Jason Calley says:

      Governments grow fat and powerful by convincing people that only government can cure their problems. When societies prosper enough that real problems are few, the government will create new problems for everyone.

    • Roy Spencer says:

      yup, if only. That sure would help humanity, wouldn’t it?

    • Bart says:

      The existence of such a miraculous and mind-bogglingly useful substance would surely be final and clinching proof of the non-existence of God, along the lines of the Babel Fish proof.

  10. Robtzu says:

    Every day I look in my mailbox for my big oil check and every day nothing.

    • Roy Spencer says:

      I’ll send you some of mine…It’s just stacking up and taking up space. Wish the gov’t printed larger than $10,000 bills. Sigh.

    • WizGeek says:

      Move to Alaska. I believe the Alaska Permanent Fund still is paying annual dividends.

  11. Frank K. says:

    Awww you guys! Now, this is just MORE negative thinking!

    We must embrace that which is POSSIBLE in our MINDS! I bet the naysayers were out in force when Twinkies were invented. How DID they get that cream filling in the middle??! And so it is with solar roads and zero calorie cheese cake. So, let us free the limitless inventor within ourselves – to create, to innovate, to save the planet!!!

    (Now, I can get back to my square wheel invention. No more flat tires!!).


  12. Dagfinn Reiersøl says:

    This quote is lovely: “Nothing can work unless the consciousness behind it comes from a place of love, peace, co-operation and understanding.” Got that? Tyrants like Hitler couldn’t actually oppress people and wage war. It must have been a misunderstanding.

  13. John Kl says:

    Hi Roy,

    You made another great post. My personal favorite Ken Amis quote without question proves to be:

    “By contrast, all perpetual machine designs ever conceived have these virtues: (1) No fossil fuels are required, indeed no fuel at all is needed. (2) They do not produce noxious and toxic exhaust gasses or solid pollution, for they produce no exhaust.”

    Of course, all these apparent virtues supposedly inherent to perpetual motion machines derive from one simple FACT that neither you nor myself can ever ignore! PERPETUAL MOTION MACHINES DON’T EXIST!!! Neither does any clear effective conception of such machines exist. IT IS PRECISELY THIS FACT THAT MAKES PERPETUAL MOTION MACHINES EXACTLY LIKE EFFECTIVE HUMANE CLIMATE CHANGE LEGISLATION!!! NEITHER EXISTS!!! HUMANS themselves PROVE TO BE THE EXACT OPPOSITE OF A PERPETUAL MOTION MACHINE. They require constant attention, access to food, proper spiritual guidance, proper governance and if your a leftist an entire range of subsidized social services. One has to ask why Ken Amis believes such humans could even be capable of inventing some device that can perform a function that humans themselves prove incapable of.

    Have a great day!

    • Curious George says:

      An empty set has a plenty of desirable properties. You should not dismiss them without a careful consideration.

      • John K says:

        Hi Not So Curious George,

        My statement did not rest on an empty set which would still represent SOMETHING. What some call EMPTY SPACE EXISTS. My somewhat existential statement rested on ACTUALITY vs POTENTIALITY and EXISTENCE vs NON-EXISTENCE. Your apparent inability to see that should concern you. You shouldn’t assume others have not given pure FANTASY it’s DUE CONSIDERATION.

        Have a great day!

  14. DHR says:

    The windmill blades on the vehicle operate on apparent wind flowing over their twisted surfaces. The vehicle may move directly downwind but the blades do not. For an excellent demonstration of the principle watch some of the recent America’s Cup races.

    • This gets into figuring out whether harvesting energy from a headwind airspeed, by diagonal interaction with the blades, results in enough harvested power to overcome the drag of outrunning a tailwind. I haven’t figured this one yet, but I am skeptical. Now, I wonder if a sailboat can even take a zigzag course averaging directly downwind, with net directly downwind speed exceeding the windspeed.

      There is the matter of a wind-driven vehicle, sailing directly downwind at the windspeed, being unable to accelerate from working with the wind.

  15. KevinK says:

    Dr. Spencer, what the heck is it with that speed limit on light ??? Why limit it ? Must have been an evil Republican thing, they hate science. Heck it’s not like it can knock you over or something when it hits you…..

    There is no limit on the “speed of scent”, although I have heard (through back channels) that the California Legislature is considering one…..

    I say: REPEAL THE SPEED LIMIT ON LIGHT IMMEDIATELY, for the children of course.

    After all our grandchildren deserve to have their Facesmook data updated much more quickly than we have to endure with these silly speed limits.

    /sarc off

    Cheers, Kevin.

  16. probono says:

    All in good fun Dr. Spencer. But stay above this lest you become as they are.

    • John Kl says:

      Hi probono,

      Well if he does become as they are and gets in trouble apparently you can represent him, assuming yor moniker proves accurate.

      Have a great day!

  17. Curt says:

    The sailcar sailing downwind faster than the wind is a great problem. For a long time I thought it was not possible. Then I sat down and did a detailed analysis. I’m not satisfied with most (any?) of the explanations given, so I’ll try my own.

    Start with an airplane wing. It generates lift (an upward force) by deflecting the air flowing past the wing downward. Completely uncontroversial.

    Next, think of a standard sailboat sailing upwind or across the wind. Here the sail acts as a wing stood up on edge. It deflects the air passing by it towards the back of the boat, generating forward force for the boat. Also uncontroversial.

    Vessels with very low drag — iceboats and sailcars — can sail significantly faster than the wind this way. Also well known.

    However, what I did not realize until recently is that it is possible (and actually common) for the downwind component of the speed of such a vessel to be faster than the wind. This is where it gets harder to understand. You probably have to draw some vector diagrams.

    Let’s say the vessel is 135 degrees away from pointing into the (true) wind. As its speed in this direction increases, the “apparent wind” that it sees because of its speed comes more and more to the front. Even though it is going in a downwind direction, from the boat’s reference frame, it is like it is sailing upwind. As long as it can deflect wind back, it can generate forward force. There is nothing limiting the downwind component of the vessel speed to the wind speed.

    Now, in a vessel with a fixed sail going directly downwind, the sail cannot act as a wing. Instead, it acts as a “blanket”. Such a vessel cannot go faster than the wind going directly down wind.

    But in a vessel with a “propeller”, the sideways velocity of the prop blade relative to the boat (maximized at top and bottom) means that it is acting more like a fixed-sail vessel at around 135 degrees off the wind. Because of the apparent velocity of the wind relative to this moving wing, it does have the capability of deflecting the air like a wing more toward the back of the vessel, thereby generating forward force for the vessel, even when the vessel is moving faster than the wind directly downwind.

    It’s tough to explain without diagrams — I hope I’ve made it clear.

    • probono says:

      Re: airplane wings. Downward deflection of the airstream isn’t the main mechanism by which they create lift, or icing would not be such a problem.

      higher wind speeds over the top of the wing create lower pressures.

      THAT is not controversial.

    • Dr. Strangelove says:

      The propeller in front of that car is too small to provide forward thrust like a sail. Instead the propeller harness wind moving in front of the car like a wind turbine. IMO it will little or no energy to move the car because it increases the drag.

      • Curt says:

        So what’s your explanation for how the car goes much faster than the wind?

        • Geoff wood says:

          Maybe, Dr is suggesting that the visible energy source in the video is insufficient ?

        • Dr. Strangelove says:

          The car in the photo is electric-powered. It has a battery. The wind turbine merely recharges the battery. Another explanation is gravity. You should check if the road is perfectly flat. A little inclination will accelerate the car.

          Putting a propeller in a car does not make sense at all. It increases the drag and you just convert some of that drag energy to forward thrust by connecting the propeller to the wheel (or a battery). The car will run faster if you remove the propeller and streamline the shape because it will have lower drag. This is why you never see a solar car with a propeller in the Australian solar car race.

  18. John K says:

    Hi Roy,

    After further reflection PERHAPS EVERYONE SHOULD CONSIDER part of Ken Amis’s statement to the effect:

    “When a machine attains an efficiency of 1, its output equals its input. With just a bit more WORK and ingenuity one could surely push the efficiency above one, so the machine produces more output energy than input. The final stage of development would redirect part of the output to supply the input. Then the excess output energy could be used for other purposes. The goal of the over-unity perpetual motion machine will have been achieved.”

    Notice how this shabby Svengali operates? He ASSUMES anyone can actually attain an efficiency of 1 ( i.e. equal input and output ). He then bizarrely claims that by adding a bit more WORK and ingenuity one can push efficiency beyond 1. Never does he provide empirical evidence for any of it. Also the addition of WORK into the system by definition means the system cannot be CLOSED and the conditions of the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics have not been met. Moreover, HE NEVER SHOWS OR PROVIDES EVIDENCE THAT OUTPUT EVER EXCEEDS INPUT, NOR CAN HE!!!

    Ken Amis’s problem doesn’t merely represent a failure to understand or seriously consider what the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics states, he lacks any understanding of even the basic laws of thought and reason THE LAW OF IDENTITY. HE CANNOT DISPROVE THE 2ND LAW OF THERMODYNAMICS BY PROVIDING PERPETUAL MOTION CLAIMS FOR OPEN SYSTEMS COMPLETELY ALIEN TO THE CONDITIONS SET FORTH IN THE 2ND LAW OF THERMODYNAMIC. IMO his belief in perpetual motion machines given his own statements doesn’t represent the views of a bold visionary but someone suffering from COGNITIVE DISSONANCE.

    Have a great day!

    • John K says:

      Hi Roy,

      Please allow me one correction to my previous post. The first sentence of the last paragraph should read:

      “Ken Amis’s problem doesn’t merely represent an apparent failure to understand or seriously consider what the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics states, he appears to lack any understanding of even the basic laws of thought and reason THE LAW OF IDENTITY.”

      The possibility always exists that he knows what he’s stating makes not a lick of sense. In one part of his statement he expresses concern that inventors of (NON-EXISTENT) perpetual machines should be well rewarded (APPARENTLY FOR NOTHING).

      Have a great day!

    • John Kl says:

      Correction to my prior statement:

      Ken Amis really isn’t a Svengali. He appears more like a magician which was what I meant.

      Have a great day!

  19. Brian O. says:

    God: the ultimate perpetual motion machine.

  20. zlop says:

    Second Law of Thermodynamics is not a Law.
    It is the solution to homogeneous, direction independent, random. Forces, mass and direction determine velocity. Therefore, the Second Law is just a Flat Earth Theory.

    • JohnKl says:

      Hi Zlop,

      Are you under the impression you made a point. Your second claim ending with a period isn’t even a complete sentence. You could of course provide evidence of your claim that the 2nd law of thermodynamics is not a law by proving your point with factual evidence. I’m sure we’d all be interested to see it. Btw, the 2nd law IS DIRECTIONAL!

      Have a great day!

      • John K says:

        Hi Zlop,

        It seems I made a similar mistake as you. The first sentence of my post asked a question and should have had a question mark at the end! It should have read:

        Are you under the impression you made a point?

        So much for grammar lessons! Apparently I need them as well!

        Have a great day!

  21. geran says:

    Heard in a thermo class, many moons ago: “Entropy—it’s not what it used to be.”

  22. Gunga Din says:

    For perpetual motion-sickness, try IPeCaC!

  23. zlop says:

    Second Law does not hold in a force field

    In a gravitational field
    Lapse exploitation is the example.

    What is possible in a Electrical field?
    230% efficient LED needs a 50% efficient
    solar cell.

  24. KR says:

    US Patent Office, Manual of Patent Examining Procedure Section 608 – no patents for perpetual motion without a working model:

    With the exception of cases involving perpetual motion, a model is not ordinarily required by the Office to demonstrate the operability of a device. If operability of a device is questioned, the applicant must establish it to the satisfaction of the examiner, but he or she may choose his or her own way of so doing.”

    As I understand it, they are still waiting…

    • Geoff wood says:

      With the internet full of over unity devices, how can that be? (Sarc)

    • wannabe says:

      Au contraire, KR! Inventor Howard Johnson (not the restaurant/motel magnate) managed to get a U.S. patent regarding his “permanent magnet motor” issued in 1979. In the next six years he also got two follow-up patents on generating magnetic propulsion.

      (Before all this, Johnson’s career in government and industry led to his name being on over 30 patents.)

      According to an article in the Spring 1980 Science and Mechanics, to fulfill the appeal requirements for the his magnetic motor patent he brought two working models with him to the patent office. After a hour of the examiners playing with them (and a further six-year legal battle) he was finally granted the patent.


      And there’s a paragraph about him in Wikipedia.

      Johnson died in 2008. No one since has been able to duplicate his motor, despite the requirement that “a person having ordinary skill in the art” should be able to recreate an invention using the patent documents alone. But there are plenty of scams around that use his name.

      • KR says:

        I stand corrected. Apparently some inventors _have_ managed to convince the patent examiners.

        So far, though, nobody has managed to create a perpetual motion machine that anyone _else_ can build, no second example, no matter how detailed the plans. If such a thing existed it would be the path to fame and (considerable) fortune for the inventor.

        “All the proofe of a pudding, is in the eating” – nothing presented so far, no buildable devices, no excess energy. Therefore I’ll follow the lead of the great Homer Simpson, who said “In this house, we obey the laws of thermodynamics!”

  25. Massimo PORZIO says:

    I thought a little more about the sailcar faster than wind question, and I’m still convinced that it is a matter of different dynamic/aerodynamics frictions.
    The Cx of the blades is much higher than the one of the sailcar. So at the beginning the blades start to rotate accumulating energy because of the low dynamic frictions of the rotor. The dynamic frictions of the rotor increase as a linear function of the blade rotational speed. These dynamic friction slowly discharge the energy to the sailcar making it move in the wind direction.
    Instead, the aerodynamics frictions of the blades reduces as a square function of the relative speed between the wind and the blades themselves.
    When the speed of wind relative to the blade approaches zero (the sailcar runs at the very same speed of the wind), because the linear increase of the dynamic friction is lesser than the faster squared law reduction of the aerodynamics frictions, and since energy can’t be destroyed and has to go somewhere in the system before the rotor, the blades still rotate with that accumulated energy, at this point the blades push the sailcar above the wind speed for a little time until the accumulated rotational energy completely dissipates on the rotor.

    As always, this is just a conjecture, I didn’t any serious research at all, mechanics is not my field, I could be clearly wrong.

    Have a nice weekend.


  26. AlecM says:

    The ‘Extended GHE’ is a Perpetual Motion Machine of the 2nd Kind, ‘back radiation’ really the atmospheric Irradiance, a potential energy flux, misinterpreted as a real flux, supposedly comes back to cause the lower atmosphere to expand.

    You can’t use your own heat to cause self-expansion; 2nd Law, Clausius’ version.

    • Geoff wood says:

      You obviously didn’t eat the same curry as I did last night Alec! Joking aside, I am with you in your arguments about radiation potential and that available for work within a thermal gradient. Radiometers measure potential not real flux. The only flux that can be expressed in Watts is the net. Nothing else exists.
      Regard, Geoff

  27. Mark Luhman says:

    I am disappointed in Obama he could have cured all out transportation problem just by mandating that all roads run down hill, than gravity could do all the work, I cannot understand how something so simple escapes so many people. /sarc off

  28. tom0mason says:

    I have been working on practical entropy reversal for the last couple of months, and I have success!

    The method I postulated is by carefully distributing a suitably encapsulated intricate hydrocarbon/carbonate chemical self aligning anti-entropic starter mechanism packages on trace elements bound up in a natural detritus, and feeding-in low levels of daylight, mixed with trace atmospheric gas, and a resonable amount of water, a basic pseudo-fractal like structures could be spontaneously produced. These structures would inately concentrate these low level of enviromental chemical and energy inputs to higher energy levels that are chemically bound.

    At the moment the peas and about 8 inches tall and the cabbages and potatoes are showing a good inch to an inch and half of progress.

    Isn’t nature wonderful!

  29. Thanks, Dr. Spencer. A good, thought-provoking article.
    As a sailor, it was fun to read. Wind is fun and easy to use, but you’ve got to allow for its absence and shifting nature.
    The trick to fast sailing is constant sails adjustments.
    Vector diagrams explain apparent wind, the wind we sail on.

  30. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Roy, can’t thank you enough, that was hilarious. My very favorite part was:

    The negative character of thermodynamics laws does nothing but stifle and discourage creative and inventive minds …

    Don’t you just hate it when those negative laws of thermodynamics start harshing the mellow vibe …


  31. jimc says:

    I live in (hot, dry) Arizona. We have inverted cooling towers (inject water at the top, eject cool water vapor at the bottom). A company is proposing a large one to generate electrical power. My addition is to build a Roman style aqueduct form the Rockies to bring in the water at the required elevation. Whala, free power, humidification, and cooling — perpetually.

  32. Segue says:

    Jimc above has a good idea with the cooling towers. In Italy a lot of the fish stores we saw don’t use traditional air conditioning.

    Instead they have a water line attached to the top of their large window which distributes water. The water cascades down and collects at the bottom where a pump circulates it back to the top.

    This provides a cooling effect for the customers in the hot summers.

    The visual effect on the window is interesting too..

  33. Tim Folkerts says:

    This all reminds me of a brilliant video about “How it Feels to Be an Engineer in the Corporate World”.

  34. David T. Roberts, M.D. says:

    The idea of decreasing energy loss helps everyone. Friction, heat, pollution, and even extraction energy are all processes that need to be decreased. Perpetual motion does not exist, but the closer we come, the better we all do.

    Massive costs for solar paneled roadways is a big hurdle, but kudos for thinking “outside the box”. When I was an engineer, flexibility and creativity in thinking always paid off better than mere number crunching.

  35. Dr. Strangelove says:

    How can sailboat travel faster than wind? Here are the equations:

    maximum sailboat speed = wind speed / cosine A

    A is the angle between direction of sailboat’s motion and direction of wind. At 0 degree, sailboat speed = wind speed
    Increasing the angle, increases the sailboat speed at constant wind speed. But there is a limit given by this equation:

    thrust = wind force x cosine A

    At 0 degree, thrust = wind force (assuming sail is perpendicular to sailboat’s direction of motion) The greater the angle, the lesser the thrust. Therefore, when the thrust equals the drag force, the boat stops accelerating. This is why boat designers streamline the hull to reduce drag and increase top speed.

    • Massimo PORZIO says:

      I fully agree, but IMHO the so called “sail-cars” with the two blades windmill could exceed the wind speed for a moment, that because of the accumulated rotational KE of the blades during the car speed initial acceleration.
      The final behaviour of the the car, that is when it reaches the speed of the wind, it should be something like the chopper autorotation landing. In that case the blades KE is calibrated by the pilot to reduce the landing speed, here instead that KE give a speed overshoot.

      Have a nice day.


      • Dr. Strangelove says:


        Yes a sail-car is more efficient in converting wind energy into forward thrust than car with propeller. Efficiency of wind turbines is less than 60%. If wind turbines were more efficient, 16th century ships would have used them instead of sails since there were already windmills in Europe.

    • Curt says:

      How do you explain the fact that people have gone 3 times the speed of the wind, directly downwind, and in the steady state?

      How do you explain that iceboats and sailcars have for decades been able to sail at an angle to the wind going downwind and have the direct-downwind of their velocity easily exceed the wind speed, steady state?

      • Massimo PORZIO says:

        Hi Curt,
        I’m not sure your question is for me or Dr.Strangelove.

        Anyways, do you have any link to the “3 times the speed of the wind, directly downwind, and in the steady state”

        This is intriguing me indeed, because if your “steady state” means at a constant speed greater that the downwind that generated the movement, it sounds like a perpetual motion claim. Which can’t exist of course, at least in this universe.

        Have a nice day.


        • MikeB says:

          “How do you explain the fact that people have gone 3 times the speed of the wind, directly downwind”

          Well, like this. First of all it is not a fact. Secondly, it is not a fact. Or do you have any reference for this? In which case I would consider it.

        • Curt says:

          Massimo, Mike:

          Detailed response with multiple links held up in moderation. Hopefully should appear above this soon.

      • Dr. Strangelove says:

        3x the speed of wind is theoretically possible. Look at the equation I gave. Cosine 70 degrees = 0.342 or approximately 3x wind speed. But I don’t know if this has been actually attained by a sailboat.

        • Massimo PORZIO says:

          Dr. Strangelove,
          Uhmmm… Maybe I used the term “sail cars” improperly.
          I was referring this link found some posts above:

          That cars haven’t any sail, but a 2 blades windmill.
          I was talking about that.

          Have a nice day.


          • Massimo PORZIO says:

            Looking better trough the web, it seems that Curt is right.
            At least if this research is not wrong:


            Have a nice day.


          • Dr. Strangelove says:

            That propeller-car in the video ran faster than the sail-car because the propeller is bigger than the sail. If the “sail area” is equal, sail-car will run faster since sail is more efficient than propeller.

            You can compute the “sail area” of a propeller by this formula: A = (pi/4) d^4
            where A = sail area, d = diameter of propeller

            The shape of sail is concave. It has drag coefficient greater than 1. Meaning, theoretical efficiency of sail is greater than 100% The thrust it generates is as if the sail is bigger than actual size. Air flow creates turbulence that increases pressure providing additional thrust.

          • Dr. Strangelove says:

            The formula should be:
            A = (pi/4) d^2

          • Curt says:

            Dr. Strangelove: “That propeller-car in the video ran faster than the sail-car because the propeller is bigger than the sail.”

            No, absolutely not. A car with a fixed sail cannot sail directly downwind faster than the wind, because as soon as its velocity exceeds that of the wind, the sail would back fill and act as a brake. (This is why most people’s initial intuition is that the prop car cannot go faster than the wind either.)

            In the prop car, when the car’s speed matches the wind speed, the prop’s motion makes it act like the sail of a boat sailing directly across the wind (“reaching”), so it can still generate “lift” in the forward direction. As long as this lift is greater than all the drag forces, it can continue to accelerate.

            My earlier post with reference links still has not been rescued from moderation jail, but please look up the website of the North American Land Sailing Association — nalsa-dot-org — and go to their “downwind” page, where they describe the conditions of their testing, where the prop car went almost 3 times the speed of the wind directly downwind. These guys do careful measurements because they do a lot of speed competitions.

          • Dr. Strangelove says:


            My last post. See my equation how sailboat can travel faster than wind speed. Very basic concept of resolution of vectors. Physics 101 stuff. I never said propeller-car cannot travel faster than wind. I said sail is more efficient than propeller. The physical principles I described are very basic. Not worth the time debating about it.

          • Curt says:

            Dr. Strangelove: You’re still missing the whole point. The direct downwind component of wind-powered vessels can be faster than the wind – significantly faster. I’m talking about the resolved vector component of the vehicle speed in the direction of the wind. Your cosine equation is completely wrong.

            The sailcar and iceboat people call it “velocity made good” directly downwind. They can do it with the vessel pointing at an angle to the wind (broad reaching), and it is common for the direct downwind component of their speed to be twice the wind speed.

            What’s unique about the prop car is that it can do it while pointing directly downwind. That’s because the prop blades are acting like the sails of a broad-reaching sail vessel.

  36. Lewis Guignard says:

    I take exception to the implications of this statement: »”Conversion of virtual work to real work.”

    There are many who consider their virtual work real.
    In our business, I.T. now demands information, which has no application to the actual job, in order to fulfill their desires to have all the boxes checked – so to speak. I took exception to this demand and was told, by the customer, to do it anyway. I said ok. I came back 3 weeks later and told them we were increasing prices to accommodate their request for more virtual work.

    So, while virtual work may not be real, it reduces the amount of real work which can be accomplished. But people get paid to do it.

    Have a nice inflation.

  37. Nullius in Verba says:

    The sailcar is a fun bit of physics. The fundamental basis is that it can extract energy from the *difference* in velocity of two external bodies (in this case air and ground) and then use that to power motion in any other direction. The energy you can extract depends on your grip on the two moving bodies, the maximum speed you can achieve depends on the ratio of the power extracted to the friction and air resistance.

    The clever bit is using a purely mechanical linkage to get the speed-up, but really that’s just an application of leverage. The simplest sort of lever I know of for doing this is the double-rimmed wheel.

    Think of a railway wheel resting on a rail with a flange on either side extending below the rail. This is the setting for a well-known puzzle, which is to ask which part of a train is always moving backwards? As the train wheel moves forwards along the rail, the rim touching the rail is stationary, and the part of the flange below the rail is actually moving backwards as the train moves forwards.

    So now imagine we have an rail carriage with no engine sat on the tracks, and we continuously push *backwards* on the edge of the flange below the rail. The carriage would be propelled *forwards*, in the opposite direction to the applied force. (Obviously, the reaction force from the rail has to be larger and directed forwards, so the *total* force can be forward.)

    This is how, in the frame of reference co-moving with the air, the *backwards* motion of the ground under the vehicle can power *forwards* motion in the downwind direction. You have to in effect rest the edge of the flange on the ground, and the inner rim where the wheel rested on the rails is now ‘attached’ with sails or propeller blades to the air.

    There’s no great trick to it. It’s just an unusual application of levers.

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